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Last updateThu, 19 Nov 2015 8pm

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Obama’s not-so secret weapon: get out the vote

There is nothing new in saying that election 2012 is probably going to be close. Mitt Romney, following the first debate, has surged from a lagging position to nearly even with or slightly ahead of the President. Romney anchored his lead in North Carolina, drew closer in Iowa, secured a lead in Florida, and has pushed Virginia from a position of leans Obama, to leans Romney. The Romney campaign, justifiably, is enthused and excited. However, as long as it remains too close to call, the President and his campaign, thanks to a not so secret weapon, probably still have an edge.

Read more: Obama’s not-so secret weapon: get out the vote

Virginia is not a place for second chances

Virginia isn’t known for giving its candidates for high office a second chance. This seems to be a uniquely Virginia tradition. Other states, whether in Ohio, California or New York have had many successful statewide office holders who ran, then lost, but came back to win another day. In other words, comebacks aren’t uncommon. But, that rarely happens in the Commonwealth. Once a candidate has lost a bid for a statewide office comebacks are rare. 

Read more: Virginia is not a place for second chances

The Romney Comeback

Richard Nixon is a ghost most Republicans, those that even remember him (and a few, like me, who remember him fondly), would like to forget.  But, say what you will about him, he knew a lot about running for President.  No other person, with the exception of FDR, has been on a national ballot as many times as Nixon.  That’s why, long after he resigned, GOP nominees regularly sought out his advice.  Even Democrat George McGovern, who lost to Nixon in 1972, while considering another run for President in 1976 talked to his former adversary about his prospects.  Nixon had a lot of advice, but to prospective party nominees, it was simple, “run to the right to get the nomination, secure your base, and then run to the middle in the general election.”  Nixon died almost twenty years ago, but his candid advice, still carries weight. 

Read more: The Romney Comeback

What advice would you give Romney?

Mitt Romney’s campaign is in trouble.  The polls, nationwide, but especially in the swing states, are moving slowly, but steadily in the President’s direction.  Just a month ago it seemed like Mitt Romney’s election to lose and now that seems to be what he is doing.  Remarkably, for a man who has been centered and focused in all he has done in his life the Republican candidate seems lost.  However, there is still a month to go in this campaign and a lot can happen.  History has proven that.  Having said that, I am not going to offer the GOP candidate any advice, instead, I asked a number of people, several strong Romney supporters, some hardcore Democrats, and at least one person who isn’t sure how they’re going to vote, what advice they would personally give Mitt Romney.  Just as if they were on the phone talking to him.    

Read more: What advice would you give Romney?

The Enthusiasm Gap

For the Democrats 2008 was one of the most exciting campaigns in the party’s history. Their candidate was the first African American to lead a national ticket and his popularity and his oratory were the stuff that made the political juices flow. The enthusiasm that then-Senator Obama could generate was hard to match. Local Democratic chairs were awash with volunteers wanting to help Obama. It got to the point that at my local headquarters volunteers using their own cell phones had to sit on the front steps of the headquarters offices, or out in their cars, in order to make calls to prospective voters. There simply wasn’t enough room inside.

Read more: The Enthusiasm Gap

What Sequestration Means to Us

It’s called Sequestration.  You’ve seen the term in dozens of articles.  It’s been talked about on Fox, CNN, and all the other major news organizations.  But, what, exactly, does sequestration mean, and a fair question, “why should I care?”  It sounds like just another invented government word that only someone in the Washington establishment is likely to understand.  Normally, I would say, yes, that’s about it, but in this case, sequestration has the potential of substantially impacting government operations.  And this could include spending and jobs in our area. 

Sequestration, strangely enough, is not a new term.  It was first used in a long forgotten budget cutting bill enacted in the 1980’s called “Gramm Rudman Hollings.”  This legislation was created to deal with what was then considered an astronomical deficit of $2 Trillion.  What it did was to apply cuts to existing programs across the board.  Alas, it wasn’t that effective a tool.  Congress, and President Reagan were enacting bigger and bigger budgets and sequestration, which was much smaller than the increases, just couldn’t keep up.

Read more: What Sequestration Means to Us

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